Valerie Bertinelli says she won’t be returning to Food Network’s “Kids Baking Championship.”
In an Instagram video shared Jan. 20, the 68-year-old told followers that she received confirmation of her dismissal the night prior, but was “avoiding facing” the news.
“I wanted to sleep on it because it really hurt my feelings, and I know it’s not supposed to. Logically, I know that it’s business, budget cuts, right? But it really hurt my feelings to know that I’m not going to be asked back to be on ‘Kids Baking Championship,’” she said. “Really sucks.”
TODAY.com has reached out to Food Network for comment on Bertinelli’s status and the future of “Kids Baking Championship.” The show is currently airing its 12th season, and the network has not officially announced a renewal.
Bertinelli has been hosting the network’s program with Duff Goldman since Season One premiered in 2015.
She then explained her emotional reaction to the news, sharing that Season 12 of “Kids Baking Championship” was filmed in the summer of 2022, which she called her “apex year of hell.”
“I was going through it and pretending everything was just fine because that’s what you do. And without sounding like a drama queen, the show saved my life,” Bertinelli said.
In May 2022, Bertinelli officially filed for divorce from ex-husband Tom Vitale, though court papers stated that they had been separated since 2019. The divorce was finalized in November 2022.
Bertinelli said in the video that working with the fellow cast and crew members of “Kids Baking Championship,” as well as knowing she was able to “spread some kindness,” helped her through that difficult time.
“It was like a flotation device,” she said of her time on the show. “So it really hurts that I won’t be able to go back and see everybody and say, ‘Hey! I made it through, hi!’”
Bertinelli went on to express her gratitude for her fellow host Goldman as well as producers, camera, sound, art and kitchen crews who “work so hard.” She added that she feels “so lucky” to watch the young bakers grow up on the show.
The two-time Golden Globe winner concluded her video by giving some advice to kids competing on any future seasons.
“Even though I won’t be there, I’ll be with you in spirit and I just want you to remember this: You are there for a reason. You’re some of the best bakers in America right now,” she said, adding that if they are voted off the show, they should remember that “it’s not because you’re not a good baker, you just had a bad day. So always, always believe in yourself. Please do that for me and keep baking. I’ll miss you guys.”
In April 2023, Bertinelli announced that her Food Network show “Valerie’s Home Cooking” had been canceled after 14 seasons.
At the time, she said in an Instagram video that she had “no idea why” the network decided to cancel the show, adding, “I didn’t say anything last summer because honestly, I was hoping they would change their mind. But they have not.”
“So this is it. This is the final season,” Bertinelli continued. “I have loved making this show. It was such a dream come true. Every single part of it brought me so much joy. I love the crew. I loved everybody in production. They loved making this show for you.”